We don't talk out loud about how much Gannett pays us. But if I'm going to razz executives about their seven-figure pay packages, I ought to come clean, too. When I left USA Today, I was earning a generous $105,000 a year as a business news reporter and editor. Gannett kicked in another I think $10,000 each year for my retirement plan and my 401(k) account. That's a lot of money.
Of course, there's this mitigating factor: The cost of living where I live is nuts. Median prices for single-family homes in the San Francisco Bay area are among the nation's very highest: nearly $800,000. Once you pay that outrageous sum, get ready to pony up another $200,000 for a new kitchen and maybe a bath. (We love our sustainable Brazilian hardwoods and our $5,000 Bertazzoni ranges!) Plus, adding a two-car garage will cost another $200,000 to bore into our steep hillsides, so you may need to rent garage space.
My annual pay puts me near the top end of the salary range I found when I did this casual survey of Gannett Blog readers two months ago. I don't know how much my USA Today co-workers earn because the paper's approximately 450 newsroom employees aren't unionized, so wage scales aren't published. But I suspect plenty of them earned as much or more than me. That's why so many are worried about losing jobs if there's another round of cuts at Gannett's flagship paper. After all, where would they find newspaper jobs, beyond public relations, that pay anywhere near as much as they earn now?
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